Wednesday, September 15, 2010

28th Adirondack Canoe Classic - 90 Miler - Old Forge to Saranac Lake


"Yes it was, to paraphrase Dickens: it was the best of 90 milers, it was the worst of 90 milers."

The above is a snippet of the conversation between Leigh and myself while riding home from the 28th Adirondack Canoe classic.

" Day one and three were the most arduous of any of the six 90's we've done, and day two was the most serene and satisfying."

"Today was definitlythe hardest day 3 we've had. What was it about day one that was so challenging?"

"Well, let's see: 4th lake was pretty rough all the way across and got worse as we entered the channel into Inlet. Then there was my favorite; Browns tract, but actually we negotiated that 2.5 miles of switch backs better than ever. I think we get better at our turns every year. I was dreading Racquette lake, and it didn't dissappoint; first we saw the resue boat transporting a team and their canoe to shore after they capsized and then that young man capsized his one man canoe right next to us. I wanted to finish our rescue of him but the rescue boat appeared and took over for us, but it would have been neat to practice that rescue technique. Actually the rest of the route was pretty uneventfull until the last half hour on Blue Mountain Lake to the finish line."

"Jan on his Stand-up paddle board was pretty amazing!"

"I'll say. I'm amazed that he stood on that thing for the close to 9 hours it took him to finish day one!

"Ya know, on reflection, and compared with the 2 hours we spent battling the waves and 15 mile an hour wind on upper Saranac Lake this morning, day one was actually pretty mild all told."

Karen said there were a lot of boats capsized, even one of the war canoes went hull up and the crew had to swin for 15 minutes!!"

"What's amazing is that our total times over the last 3 years have been quite close: between 20 and 21 hours."

"When Mac made the announcement before the 1st wave took off that every paddler was to don their life jackets, I knew we were in for it."

"I was getting nervous, when we were taking on so much water, that we'd destabalize and end up with our hull pointing to the sky and us bobbing like corks in the water."

" At least we were going directly into the wind, unlike Middle Saranac where we had to zig-zag because the wind was broad siding us."

"Don't forget the rain!"

"Ya, but at least when the rain started the wind abated. I'd paddle calm water in the rain rather than fight rough water and wind anyday."

"How about that bottle-neck at the last portage? What should have taken us 5 minutes to traverse took 20 minutes at least. I took a chill and was shivering before we finally got back in the water. Thank goodness paddling again warmed me up quickly."

"I was never so glad to get into some dry clothes and then go through the chow line; that chicken breast sandwhich, baked beeans, potato salad and lemonade was the perfect recovery meal."

"The hot chicken broth was my favorite."

"The chocolate milk and bananas were my favorites; especially at the end of day one.

"Remember when we were coming across Eagle Lake and you said: 'don't even think about trying to get me to do this next year'? So this is your last 90?"

"I'll be here next year:) God willin', You?"

"You're not doin' it without me!"

"OK> Let's see if we can cut an hour off our time next year?"

Day 2... 12 miles straight down a mirror surfaced Long Lake.
Day 2, 9/11/10 was the most perfect of days to import into yourself the essence of the Adirondacks. The dense mist that we chased down the lake created a surreal meditative scene that made even paddling seem relaxing. We come back every year for the day 2s and to see just how far we can push our physical and mental limits!

If you don't push yourself to your limits how will you know how far you can go?



Blogger willow said...

Very impressive, Rel. Well done, my friend.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

That sounds grueling...But beautiful. That last photo is gorgeous.

11:38 AM  
Blogger beth said...

having just returned from my 3 day backpack in the High Peaks with 5 (very *small*!) 7th grade girls and a greenhorn guy helper, I completely agree with the " will you know how far you can go?" statement! My quads are really talkin' to me when I go downstairs...

1:21 PM  

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